The old console we found in the building... 4 Channels were still operational
Here is the Art-Decco Building
And the towers with the flashing lights
More towers with a curtain antenna
And the old Continental Transmitter
And as the story was told:
A group of us were driving together to attend a convention in Nashville. Several legendary jocks motoring along on a clear evening..planning to arrive at the Nashville hotel around 9pm..at one point we all stopped at a small truck stop just north of interstate 40 East of Music City..just off the banks of the upper Cumberland river. One of the jocks, not sure which one of us, saw several red flashing lights in the large stand of poplar trees appearing to be about 1 mile north..not recalling a radio station we all decided to check it out..the trip north turned into about a 4 mile drive along a seldom traveled narrow two lane road..it’s white lines long ago faded. A sharp turn right on an overgrown dirt path and a closed metal farm gate stood covered with kudzu but no lock was apparent. We were in a rented 4x4 Tahoe so we ventured further in thru the dense underbrush. Not one of us remembered any kind of broadcast facility or tower field..another 3/4 of a mile and under several downed wires and weeds was a poured concrete building..a throwback to the old transmitter shacks of the 50’s and 60’s. This one looked to be a shell of its former self with thick Johnson grass growing up from the flooring of the building. An oak desk and telephone set, and Remington typewriter still waiting for the receptionist to return from the powder room. Beyond that..and across the overgrown and warped floor was a seemingly intact studio setup...mostly dry due to the excellent design of the building. Jim Davis noticed that a single incandescent light..hanging from the circular ceiling..and it was lit! There was still electricity in this abandoned building.
Past the solid oak door with it’s round double pane glass window was..what appeared to be..a HUGE..transmitter...again perfectly dry save for a few stubborn blackberry vines that had made their way thru the conduit..before anyone could consider the danger, Ted Randall pushed the High voltage button on the behemoth Continental transmitter. He had worked with these before..and before we all knew it..the plates fired up and the hum was near deafening. Grant Hudson opened a door in the nearby hallway to expose a perfectly preserved record library containing music on 45’s from 1950’s and 1960’s..he yearned to try playing one on the transcription turntables and playfully cued one up. Jeff Laurence had a stack of music on carts from the 70’s and a couple from the 80’s in the Tahoe that would actually still play on the aging, but functional cartridge tape decks..at that point we forgot about the convention..and began playing the greatest hits of all time at night from the USA..for listeners from around the world. Others soon joined us like Steve Taylor, Steve Hunter and more on the way. Who knows how long we can get away with it..it’s radio broadcast history on shortwave.
The Radio Legends
The Dream Team
Big Jim Edwards - Sunday 8PM to 12AM Central
Ted Randall - Monday - Wednesday 8PM to 12AM Central
World Famous Steve Taylor - Thursday 8PM to 12 AM Central
Grant Hudson - Friday 8PM to 12AM Central
Jeff Laurence - Production Director
(Greek Food Expert)